Friday, February 22, 2013

The Edmund Campion Missal

Ben Yanke has provided a complete review of a new resource for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass -- a resource that has been very much in need. The original is here and this is a repost. In addition, the publisher tells me that the organ accompaniment book is now complete.


Simply put, the Saint Edmund Campion Missal and Hymnal from Corpus Christi Watershed is a brilliant new Sunday/Feast day hand-missal for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. It is skillfully edited, and without exaggeration, it is one of the most beautiful modern books I have seen or used. It is a full missal and hymnal, containing not only the Sunday propers and readings in both Latin and English, but also the complete Kyriale, six versions of the Credo, nearly 20 pages of congregational chants for use throughout the year, over 150 pages of orthodox, traditional congregational hymns, various prayers for private prayer before, during and after Mass, and for other sacraments and rites in the Extraordinary Form (such as marriage, confirmation, benediction and funerals). Most importantly, it starts at $23 for a single copy! Very affordable.

First Impressions

As I took it out of its shipping box, I was struck by the simple, subtly decorated, yet very dignified cover, with the slight star design in the background. With a striking image of the Agnus Dei, surrounded by ornamental borders, this cover is sure to draw your attention to the beauty of the liturgy before the Mass even begins or you open the missal. The binding and hard-cover is that of a hymnal, allowing this book to be used by both individuals and by parishes wishing to place it in the pew rack alongside or in place of their other hymnal.


The artwork scattered throughout the pages of the missal is just as beautiful. It is typeset in such a way that it does not feel at all cramped, but at the same time, much of the free space is used for art, in a very tasteful manner. All of the line art has been newly digitized, making it look crisp and clear rather than scanned or faded.

Size and Weight

At 6×9 inches, it is larger than many hand-missals, but that increase in size is accompanied by an increase in font size compared to many other missals, making it very readable, and also easy to fit in standard hymnal racks. It is a little bit above an average weight among hymnals, but it’s still easy to handle, and not too heavy, considering all that’s in it.


One interesting feature of this book is the dual ordinary sections, one for use at a Missa Solemnis or Missa Cantata (Solemn High Mass and High Mass, respectively), and one for a Missa Lecta (Low Mass). This eliminates the problems of those unfamiliar with the Extraordinary Form being confused about cues or rubrics referring to actions that only occur at a “low Mass” or actions that only occur at a “high Mass.” The two sections are styled differently, including different drop-caps and background color, so that they are not easily confused with each other, should you lose your place in the book and try to return. While most of the book is printed in black and white, the ordinary sections are printed in color, and are very well typeset. The artwork and typesetting in the ordinary section rivals that of some ornate altar cards, filled with beautiful artwork and pictures from a traditional Mass, a testament to Mr. Ostrowski’s fantastic work.

237_Low_Mass_IntroiboAnother interesting feature of this missal is over 100 pictures of an actual Mass (two, in fact, one for each of the ordinary sections). There is at least one real picture on each page spread in the ordinary, which allows those new to the congregation to orient themselves, should they become lost in the ordinary section. It also allows the congregation to see some of the small gestures that happen in the sanctuary, such as the fraction rite over the chalice, the deacon kissing the chalice at the offertory, or the priest striking his breast during the Confiteor.

I would be remiss not to mention the beautiful vestments and churches seen in these sample pictures. All of the vestments used are beautifully embroidered, and are very much in the style of the roman rite, exemplifying beauty. The same can be said about the churches in which these Masses were celebrated. Also included in the ordinary sections are many short yet illuminating descriptions or commentaries on the applicable part of the Mass, making clear what is happening both externally and internally.

The Missa Solemnis section also includes the music for the Vidi Aquam, Asperges, Preface Dialogue, and the final verse of the Pater Noster, all in their appropriate spot, facilitating easy congregational participation on these parts. They are engraved in neumes.
While I had hoped it would come with ribbons, it is designed in such a way that it is possible to easily use it with a single bookmark, switching the bookmark between the proper section and the ordinary section. However, for those individuals or parishes who would prefer ribbons, myself included, the book is bound in such a way that it would be quite easy to insert a set of missal ribbons purchased from another vendor (such as these ribbons). In either case, it seems to be a win-win: those who prefer not to use ribbons have a book that is specifically designed to be used without them, and those who do can easily add them on their own, with no negative effect.

The drop-caps in the proper section of the missal are also very dignified, but in the ordinary section, which is printed in color, they are exceedingly beautiful, as is the rest of the ordinary section.


I was pleased to see all of the eighteen Gregorian Masses included, as well as the six Credos, allowing the schola full freedom of choice among the Gregorian Masses that they might not otherwise have, should the congregation be using another resource, such as the first edition of the Parish Book of Chant (although this problem is remedied in the second edition of the PBC). These chants, along with the other chants in the book, were re-engraved in Gregorio, using a large, easily readable typeface, and are not small or smudged and faded scans.


There is a sizable number of hymns for all seasons, including Savior of the Nations Come, Creator of the Stars of Night, Adeste Fideles (both Latin and English), As with Gladness Men of Old, Come Holy Ghost, Holy God We Praise Thy Name, All Glory, Laud, and Honor, Immaculate Mary, Jesus Christ is Risen Today, as well as many other lesser known hymns, such as Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem, O Christ Who Mountest Up the Sky, When the Patriarch Was Returning, O Glorious Maid Exalted Far, and many others, including at eleven original hymn tunes by Kevin Allen, one of them paired to the poem by Blessed Cardinal Newman, Lead Kindly Light. All in all, there are over 150 solid, usable hymns that will serve any Extraordinary Form community well at either Low Masses with music or a High Mass with a limited hymns.

The numbering follows the same scheme as the Vatican II hymnal, namely, using page numbers in the hymn section, to ease the announcement of page numbers and the finding of hymns. While this is different than some publishers, it seems to me that it is the best way.


Following the hymn section, there is also a section of chants for the congregation, including Rorate Caeli, all of the Marian antiphons, Puer Natus, Jesu Dulcis Memoria, Adoremus in Aeternum, Attende Domine, Veni Creator, Adoro Te Devote, among others. There is also a section found at the back with several prayers for use before Holy Communion, before Mass, after Mass, etc.


This book contains many of the other small bits, such as the proper forms of the Communicantes for various feasts, and of course, the prefaces for various feasts. The inclusion of these items, in addition to the thoroughness of the ordinary section, opens up interesting possibilities. When I was discussing this missal with a seminarian I know, he asked me if it contained all of the private and proper prayers for the priest, for the purpose of even using it as an altar missal for a traveling priest. It appears that it does include the needed prayers, as well as many inline rubrics (such as mentions of kissing the altar, picking up the host, signs of the cross, or bowing the head), so that in the case of traveling, necessity, or even private Masses, it appears that this book could possibly be used in place of a copy of the Roman Missal (although it would be very wise to add ribbons in this case, as mentioned above). To that end, it lays flat fairly well, and I’m sure with some use, it will lay flat even more easily.

Wrap Up

All in all, this is a fantastic resource for both individuals attached to the Extraordinary Form, as well as for parishes that use the Extraordinary Form, but particularly those who only celebrate the Extraordinary Form. This is a extraordinary book that I’d highly recommend to anyone attending the Extraordinary Form looking for a beautiful, easy to use missal.

What’s Unique About This Hymnal and Missal?

It’s both a full Sunday Missal for the Extraordinary Form, as well as a full hymnal, containing all the music a congregation could need, including all eighteen Gregorian Masses, and many congregational chants. But more importantly, the book is very beautiful. The artwork and the typesetting give this book a very beautiful look and feel. Interestingly, it contains two sections for the ordinary (High Mass and Low Mass), easing congregational use.


Ben Yanke, 17, is the oldest of 9 and is a homeschooled highschool senior from Madison, Wisconsin. Next year, he will be attending Franciscan University at Steubenville for communication arts and computer science. Ben’s interests include liturgy, sacred music, cross country running, trumpet and french horn, as well as blogging, media production, and web design. He is currently in the process of writing propers for the ferial Masses of the year (Ferial English Propers), in the style of Simple English Propers, by Adam Bartlett. His blog also contains many of his resources, including Ferial English Propers. It also contains a listing of many resources for singing the propers of the Mass in the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, as well as a listing of resources for the Liturgy of the Hours. You can visit his blog, From the Ordinary to the Extraordinary, at
Thanks to AML for helping me put together this review.
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